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Feature Archives

Thu May 25 2017 (Updated 06/22/17)
Hunger Strike Begins at Folsom State Prison
The men at Old Folsom State Prison in the ASU and Ad-Seg will begin a hunger strike on May 25 due to ongoing issues with the conditions of confinement that violate the Eighth Amendment. All the prisoners held in Folsom’s ASU and Ad-Seg are without food bowls, therefore having to eat out of ziplock bags. They have no cups, needing to drink water from an old milk carton. They have no TVs, no property at all. The mail is sometimes withheld for no reason — up to a month for some prisoners, for others even longer. All they’re asking for is to be given day-to-day necessities. So, in order to have their voices heard, they feel they have no choice but to hunger strike.
At a meeting between representatives of the Santa Cruz chapter of ACLU of Northern California; Sanctuary Santa Cruz; Peace United Church of Christ and the Public Defender’s Office on April 19, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart was presented evidence of the ongoing arrangement whereby the Sheriff’s Office notifies ICE of release dates of arrested but non-convicted undocumented locals. When confronted with this evidence Hart confirmed the jail policy of cooperation and agreed to consider the information presented to him about other jurisdictions who refused to cooperate with ICE. At a meeting on May 10, however, Hart said that he would not change Santa Cruz County's jail policy.
A new study released by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, Paying More for Being Poor: Bias and Disparity in California’s Traffic Court System, shows that Californians pay some of the highest fines and fees in the country — more than three times the national average for running a red light. And new Bay Area data reveals that African-Americans are four to sixteen times more likely to be booked into county jail on a charge related to inability to pay a citation. Two bills before the California Legislature (SB 185 and AB 412) seek to address many of the disparities
Defund OPD writes: The process of allocating Oakland’s 2.6 billion dollar budget for 2017-2019 has begun. We believe that the scandal-ridden and dysfunctional Oakland Police Department consumes far too many of our city's resources. It’s time to audit police spending and performance, and redirect wasted funds to community-building, constructive strategies for making Oakland a safer and better place to live. The people of Oakland know that policing is the wrong framework for bringing true security to our communities. Oakland’s budget needs to reflect our values and our priorities.
Mon May 15 2017 (Updated 05/20/17)
Standing Rock Copwatchers in the Bay Area
Standing Rock Copwatchers write: In 2016, we left our families, our homes, our lives to go defend the water at Standing Rock, North Dakota. We stood in struggle with hundreds of tribes from across the country and continent. Our fight was for mother earth, and it was for our people, our history, and for our future. We have been traveling from city to city connecting with other people, sharing our stories, speaking about the fight for our earth, and conducting know your rights trainings. Many of us are currently in Oakland. We are fundraising to get the clutch on our bus fixed and for a NoDAPL / Copwatch food truck.
The City of Santa Cruz is considering a number of new policies that would impact local homeless people. There is an effort by a handful of property owners and their allies at City Hall to end the Food Not Bombs meals outside the downtown Post Office. Officials may implement a number of new restrictions and architectural changes to make the lives of those without housing more painful. One unhoused person, Greg Mercado, died of complications from an old surgery twelve hours after the police kicked him out from the City Hall grounds and gave him a ticket for being in a park after hours.
Ongoing clashes erupted across the occupied West Bank on April 28 in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners who entered the 12th day of a hunger strike. Palestinians are calling it the Day of Rage. Israeli forces fired tear-gas bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets and live fire, during the clashes, which broke out following Friday prayers in cities, villages and refugee camps in various districts of the West Bank. Numerous Palestinians were injured. Detainees started their hunger strike on April 17th, which also marks the Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, demanding basic, internationally-guaranteed rights.